Horror movie sequels that were never made

Ah, the horror movie franchise—one of the most dependable money makers in Hollywood, with oft-replaceable actors, low budgets, and built-in audiences. Every Halloween, it seems like there's a new cursed doll, a new haunted box, or a new masked killer hunting horny teens. It turns out, however, that there's plenty of "camp counselors that got away" from your favorite franchises. These horror sequels were all supposed to haunt theaters, but ended up trapped in the realm of the Hollywood undead.

Hellraiser: Hellfire

Hellraiser, created by horror master Clive Barker, is a cult classic of striking character designs, taboo sexuality, and absolutely bonkers names. Pinhead and the Cenobites (a great band name if we've ever heard one) would go on to star in a trilogy of varying quality until producers became nervous about the diminishing returns.

An original script was produced for Hellraiser 5: Hellfire, written by Stephen Jones, that would focus on a corrupt businessman leading a cult with powers he obtained from the Cenobites while an occult bookstore owner tries to stop him. Unfortunately, the decreasing box office grosses meant that the Hellraiser franchise would continue on with direct-to-DVD sequels with significantly smaller budgets, so the expensive project (with a third act involving a massive otherworldly monster) was scrapped.

Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash

When it comes to Freddy and Jason, the respective antagonists of Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday The 13th, it's difficult to stay dead. The two movie monsters have had enough sequels, reboots, and adaptations to populate their own list. They finally came together in a 2003 crossover film, Freddy vs. Jason, which showed the two horror icons battling it out. A planned sequel would have brought in another '80s horror-movie icon: Ash, the fast-talking, boomstick-wielding star of the Evil Dead movies. Still, while fans were excited to see a deadite-possessed Jason or what kind of nightmares Freddy would dream up for Ash, the project never quite came together.

According to Bruce Campbell, the idea died in development because of arguments over creative direction—as he put it, "We couldn't control any other character other than Ash. That felt like a creatively bankrupt way to go. Not to mention, you're splitting the proceeds three ways with partners you might not want."

The project was eventually turned into a comic book miniseries, and it looks like fans will have to use those issues to imagine what it would have looked like on the big screen.

You're Next 2

You're Next was a strong debut for director Adam Wingard—a movie that shifts genre conventions every few minutes from mumblecore family gathering to home invasion horror to something else entirely. The striking animal-masked intruders, a strong lead performance from Sharni Vinson, and the synth-heavy score made the film a cult classic.

The planned sequel—spoiler alert!—would have been a jailhouse escape movie following Erin after the events of the first film, as she's imprisoned for the murder of her former fiancée's family and forced to team up with her fellow prisoners to survive the attack of a new gang of masked killers led by a survivor from the original. Tragically, You're Next's disappointing box office performance left the studio disinterested in pursuing a sequel, and even Wingard has moved on.

Quentin Tarantino's Friday the 13th

Here's another Friday The 13th that never was—but as intriguing as it sounds, this one was sadly never officially in development. On March 7, 2005, rumors surfaced that a new installment of Friday The 13th would be directed by Quentin Tarantino. Fans went crazy, hyping up the back-to-basics approach that a cinephile like Tarantino would bring to the franchise, and imagining what the ultra-violent director could do with Jason. There was just one problem. According to Tarantino, he was never even officially offered the job.

"It's a complete lie," he later insisted. "I like Jason and everything, but I've no intention of directing a movie. New Line talked to me about it, but it was a complete fabrication, that article. I would love to do a horror film. I'm just saying it's not going to be Friday the 13th."

Halloween vs. Hellraiser

Another canceled Hellraiser movie and a canceled crossover in one! This planned film would have combined the methodical Michael Myers of John Carpenter's Halloween with the sadomasochistic torturers of Clive Barker's Hellraiser series. While the two central monsters of both films are about as different as one can imagine, the project was spurred into development due to the theatrical success of Freddy vs. Jason, leading Dimension Films to search for similar horror icons in their stable that they could mash together to entice audiences.

According to Doug Bradley, the actor who portrays Pinhead in the Hellraiser movies, Clive Barker was on board to write the movie at one point, with Carpenter reportedly mulling the opportunity to direct, but it all came to naught. "The version of events I got back on this is that the Akkad brothers who produced Halloween retained control of the sequels and didn't want the crossover to be made," said Bradley. "I guess they didn't want Michael Myers hanging around with the likes of Pinhead."

While it would have been exciting to see John Carpenter and Clive Barker pool their talents, it might be for the best that this movie wasn't made—spooky, silent Michael Myers might not have been a good foil for the occasionally campy body horror of the Hellraiser films.

Child's Play

Continuing the long, storied tradition of evil dolls coming to life to murder their owners, the Child's Play franchise has gradually grown from straight-faced horror to a blood-soaked black comedy about the nuclear family unit. After the poor reception to the fifth installment, 2004's Seed of Chucky, MGM started looking for different ideas about where to take the series.

In 2011, rumors swirled that the studio was looking to reboot the franchise along with some of its other profitable properties, such as Poltergeist and Robocop. Supposedly, the rebooted film would have been a stripped down, more horrific movie than its predecessors, but the studio denied the reports. Still, fans of the series are in luck—Child's Play has continued with original creator Don Mancini making two more films, 2013's Curse of Chucky and 2017's Cult of Chucky, which lean heavily on the continuity of the earlier films.

The 13th Friday the 13th

The most recent stalled Friday the 13th project might be the most tragic for longtime fans. The franchise had taken Jason everywhere—from Crystal Lake to Manhattan, from Manhattan to Hell, from Hell back to Crystal Lake, and even to outer space. Even a reboot wasn't enough to keep everyone's favorite counselor-killing beast down.

Unfortunately, after the franchise's 2009 reboot, Jason found himself in the scariest type of Hollywood limbo. A planned sequel would have centered around Jason's father—a first for the cinematic franchise—and would have explored the origins of the hockey mask-wearing psycho. However, after missing half a dozen different release dates, Paramount threw in the towel and canceled all plans to continue the series. You can't keep Jason down for good, but it looks like fans will be waiting awhile before he returns.

Final Destination 6

Most horror movies feature characters fighting to avoid death, but few actually involve the characters literally fighting off Death. In each installment of the Final Destination franchise, Death is thwarted by a random person's psychic premonition of a catastrophic event, until the survivors are individually killed off in increasingly ludicrous Rube Goldberg-esque mishaps. With each film focusing on a different cast of characters, and the central danger of Death represented only by gusts of wind or disturbing omens, one would think there's no reason to ever stop making sequels.

All things must come to an end, but for Final Destination, it didn't involve power lines or surprisingly powerful pool suctions—it seems the studio just wasn't seeing enough monetary value in the series. Tony Todd, who plays a small role in nearly every Destination, implied that if Final Destination 5 debuted in first place at the box office, then 6 and 7 would be filmed back to back; alas, the movie came in third, and Final Destination 5 looks to be the final destination for the franchise—for now.

Scream 5

Scream brought ironic self-aware horror to the mainstream, leading the way for meta-textual movies like Cabin in the Woods and Detention, and making stars of its young cast. When Scream 4 was released in 2011, creator Wes Craven talked about the movie as the beginning of a "second trilogy," and reaffirmed he'd get final say over future scripts.

However, with Craven's death, and the success of Scream as a television show on MTV, it's unlikely that we'll ever see the story continue in theaters. According to studio chief Bob Weinstein, "It's like putting an art-house movie in an art-house theater… where the teens reside is MTV."

Cube 3D

The sci-fi surrealist cult classics in the Cube series are some of the strangest horror movies of the past two decades. Like Saw crossed with Red Dwarf, the movies focus on a group of strangers who team up to escape a series of booby-trapped rooms in a strange near future. The franchise proved strong enough to produce a direct sequel and a prequel (Cube Zero) but a planned sequel would have brought the film into 3D.

While there's a pleasing bit of symmetry to the idea that a movie about survivors exploring a three-dimensional cubed space full of death traps would have been shown in 3D, it seems like the project never got farther than early marketing promotion. A reboot of the series was also announced in 2015, but it likewise never came to fruition. It seems Cube-heads while have to be content with what they've got for a while.

Last House on the Left 2

The original Last House on the Left was filmed on a dirt-cheap budget of less than $100,000, heavily censored and even banned in various countries due to its graphic violence, and made enough money in the theatrical release to catapult its then-fledgling director, Wes Craven, into the annals of horror history. The movie focuses on a pair of women brutally attacked in the woods by psychopaths, and the subsequent bloody vengeance inflicted on the killers by one of the girl's parents.

The movie drew praise for its cinematography and provocative commentary on 1970s social norms, but received just as much criticism for its misogynistic violence and graphic imagery. Still, studios were interested in a sequel, although the project fizzled for a variety of reasons.

One obvious problem? The villains are murdered in the climax of the original movie. Craven briefly considered bringing Krug and Weasel back from Hell to continue their killing spree, but the producers wanted to go in another direction. Another draft was supposedly written by Danny Steinmann (director of Friday the 13th: A New Beginning) and Tina Landau, but the producers hadn't actually bothered to get the rights to make the sequel, so the project was canned.